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Felinexpress.com home > Strays and Ferals > The Cat by the Creek

The Cat by the Creek

The wind picked up scattering the dirt at my feet. I peered up at the sky noticing angry black clouds beginning to gather overhead. Soon the rain would begin in earnest. Brushing the remainder of loose hair from my horse, I glanced out by the creek. The ferns near the bank were rustling vigorously. Suddenly the fronds parted. Out stepped a cat carrying something in its mouth. At first, I thought the cat might have a field mouse in her mouth. But as she neared, I could tell she was carrying a kitten. I did not recognize this cat, but there she was heading across our pasture with purpose. I could see her distinct gray and white pattern swirling in the wind.

As she passed me, she started to run, heading directly for our shop a few yards away. Startled, I dropped the brush and followed. She darted through the cat door located on the side of our shop. By the time I arrived at the shop door, she had passed me dashing back toward the creek. I opened the door to find my husband, Mike sitting in his shop chair with an amazed look on his face. A light-brown kitten huddled on his lap.

“Do you know her?” Mike asked as he stroked the kitten. I looked down at the little bundle of fur, grabbed a clean shop rag and wrapped the little one up securely tucking it against my shoulder. “I have never seen her before. Looks like you are a daddy!” I added with a grin.
His look was priceless!

We both heard the cat flap open. The queen jumped into Mike’s lap, this time leaving a grey-and-white kitten behind before she jumped down and fled out the door.  “What the heck?” Mike muttered, as he picked up the kitten. “Who is this cat?”

The queen made five trips from the creek to the shop; leaving behind on my husband’s lap each time a kitten. On the fifth trip, she settled in the large cardboard box we had arranged for the babies to see to her babies. As the kittens began to seek her milk bar, we picked up the box, family and all and carried it into the house.

A few hours later, “Fern” (this is what we christened her) started creating a ruckus at the downstairs door. She wanted out, and she wanted out NOW! Mike and I decided after a few minutes of her frantic meow that we best let her out. It wouldn’t be the first time we had to raise bottle babies. I opened up the door. Ignoring the other cats, Fern shot past all of them and headed out the cat door. I followed her to the outside step and watched her streaking back to the creek in the rain. Not knowing if we would see her again, I stopped to grab KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) and a bag of bottles off the porch.

Sitting at the table, discussing this strange turn of events, we heard a commotion at the cat door. Walking into the kitchen I noticed Fern at the cat door- all I could see was her rear-end. In her mouth, she had a huge gray-and-black striped kitten. He was so big, she couldn’t carry him she was dragging him!  I knelt down, talking softly; I was able to relieve her of her burden. Cradling him in my arms, she followed me upstairs, keeping an eye on me the entire time. I put the kitten down with his siblings. Fern jumped in with her new family. I could tell she was exhausted so I left.

Two days later when I did the morning-check, I found Fern lying outside of the box. She had died sometime in the night. She must have known that her kittens would be safe with us. How did she know?

We started bottle feeding the six kittens who were added to our extended family. Now fifteen stray cats were sharing our home. This was the start of my journey with bottle babies. I have since had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful cats! The lessons these cats have taught me will last a lifetime. Welcome to my world.

  1. Korat
  2. Balinese
  3. Javanese
  4. Japanese Bobtail
  5. Somali
  6. Abyssinian
  7. Turkish Van
  8. Siamese
  9. Egyptian Mau
  10. Oriental Shorthair
  11. Tonkinese
  12. Bengal
  13. Norwegian Forest Cat
  14. Cornish Rex
  15. Siberian

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